Colorado Avalanche (35-24-6) @ Chicago Blackhawks (28-30-8)
RADIO: WGN 720
J-F Berube (1-1-0, 3.84 GAA, .884 Save%)
Semyon Varlamov (18-13-4, 2.84 GAA, .913 Save%)
Chicago 15.8% (28th)
Colorado 20.2% (18th)
Chicago 82.3% (T-10th)
Colorado 83.1% (3rd)
Corsi FOR % (5-on-5):
Chicago 53.47% (3rd)
Colorado 47.57% (26th)
Chicago 49.5% (18th)
Colorado 43.9% (31st)
The quest for the better odds in the NHL draft lottery continue at the United Center tonight for the Blackhawks. They are currently the 8th worst team in the NHL, and with the way they are playing as of late, I’d say there is still a chance they find themselves in the bottom five before it’s all said and done.
Their opponent tonight is the resurgent Colorado Avalanche, who have come out of nowhere the second half this season, and find themselves only one point out of the final wild card spot, with one game in hand. The Avs are 3-1 in their last four games, and always seem to give the Blackhawks fits because of their great speed.
Tonight’s game also marks the first of three matchups in the month of March between the Hawks and the Avs, so these teams will be seeing a lot of one another over the next few weeks.
As far as the lines, I would like to see Jan Rutta play a lot more these last few weeks. It looks like he will be scratched again tonight, and that’s a shame. He was maybe the Hawks best defenseman early this season, and should be given the chance to redeem himself after some injuries. I also hope to see John Hayden back in Chicago sooner rather than later. There should be plenty of room for him, because of Patrick Sharp and Tomas Jurco, neither of whom seem to fit in the Blackhawks future plans.
In other news, the Blackhawks announced a two-year extension for Erik Gustafsson, and a one-year extension for the brother of highly regarded Dylan Sikura, Tyler Sikura. First off, I believe this pretty much solidifies Dylan Sikura’s arrival in Chicago once his college season ends. As far as Gustafsson, I don’t think there is much to read into. He could be a fifth or sixth defenseman on a good team, and his deal is relatively team friendly.
We’ll recap tonight or tomorrow AM. Join the conversation below!